My mother and I were trapped in the cellar for 4 or 5 hours
I was born in Picton Street, Newcastle in 1927. I went to All Saints Church School. All Saints Church in Newcastle is one of only 3 elliptical churches in England. From there I went to St Thomas School located behind the City Baths.
I was bombed out in 1941 when the Germans bombed the Goods Station, our street was bombed and nine out of the ten houses were hit, lucky for us the cellars of each house had been reinforced. My mother and I were trapped in the cellar for four or five hours before we were rescued, eventually we were re-housed in Benton Road. The fire at the Goods Yard raged for 6 weeks and firemen had to draw water from local swimming pools. Some weeks later an unexploded bomb was found in the Newcastle grain store just lying on the grain, it had been there for some time before it was discovered. It had been meant for the power house that serviced the trams and would have brought everything to a standstill if it had hit the target.
As a family we were all swimmers; my mother was a swimming instructor and my brother managed both Walker and Wallsend Baths before he became Baths Superintendent for Guinness and moved to Ireland. I worked as a lifeguard at the swimming pool for 15 years after being made redundant from Rediffusion where I had worked for 40 years.
I was in the Durham Light Infantry and while on leave I met my future wife at The Embassy Dance Hall. I asked her out and we used to go to the pictures on a Sunday. We used to go to the Ritz or the Globe, we couldn’t go to Newcastle because at that time picture halls in Newcastle were not allowed to open on a Sunday. It was a rush trying to get back in time to catch the five to ten bus from Marlborough Crescent to take her home.
We moved into Rowan Croft in Killingworth, just over the way from where my wife was born, sadly she died just 19 days before our Diamond Wedding Anniversary.